Queen had their “Big ass girls.” U2 paid tribute on the B-side to the wonder that pregnant women are with “Big girls are the best.” However, the definitive rock anthem for tall women everywhere is AC / DC’s “Whole Lotta Rosie”.
Featured on Let there be rock, the group’s fourth studio album released on March 21, 1977, “Whole Lotta Rosie” wrapped up the epic LP and became one of the most beloved tracks in AC / DC’s catalog.
And for a smart, funny, fat girl (aka: yours), it became an unlikely source of inspiration.
Like probably other AC / DC fans, I joined the band as I was coming of age in high school. Their music brought me joy. It brought me comfort. Most importantly, and to put it bluntly: AC / DC’s music was what my budding sexuality was like. I remember hearing Angus and Malcolm Young’s guitars and thinking, “Hey! My kidneys have a soundtrack! Costs!”
Of course, in high school the boys don’t exactly line up for the smart, funny, fat girl. I was also in high school at the start of the year, so we were still a long way from the body positivity that is more common today.
And yet, through it all, “Whole Lotta Rosie” gave me hope.
The story behind “Rosie” is a bit murky, and there are many versions of how the song came about. Jesse Fink, author of Young people: the brothers who built AC / DC and Bon: The Last Highway: The Untold Story of Bon Scott and AC / DC’s “Back in Black”, has a very full account of the different stories that lend themselves to the legend “Rosie”.
One account indicates that Bon met Rosie while on tour with AC / DC in 1976, and Rosie took him to a room where she was with one of her friends.
Another story goes that Bon was proposed by Rosie and that he is too afraid to refuse her because “She would have broken my arm if I had refused”.
Another account implied that Rosie was tallying celebrity conquests, and Bon was going to be number 29… or 37. It’s not entirely known.
There is the recording of Rosie Speaking Bon which appears on the 1997 AC / DC box set. Fire where he said, “She was so fat she kind of closed the door and put it on you… she was too fat to say no.” So I just had to succumb… I had to. Oh my God, I wish I hadn’t.
And then there’s the account where Angus and Malcolm alluded to Bon having a fetish for tall women. If that’s true (or even if it’s not), he would probably still be having fun with the inflatable Rosie who now appears on stage when AC / DC performs “Whole Lotta Rosie”.
Regardless real The story is, here’s what it’s safe to assume: Bon had sex with a not-so-thin woman, and he had so much fun he wrote a now iconic song about it.
So how did all of this give a teenager “hope”? Despite my sexual frustration at the time, I knew that one day my self would be in bed, and maybe, just maybe, it would be with a rock star. (Granted, yes, it was a superficial goal, but what good are your teenage years besides superficial goals?)
When I hear “Whole Lotta Rosie” today, I can’t help but think of my teenage years and smile. I smiled as I thought about how much I’ve grown and changed and how minimal those teenage issues were in hindsight.
One thing hasn’t changed, however, and that’s what I feel every time I listen to AC / DC. It always brings me joy. It always brings me comfort. And yes, it still delivers the thunder below. I hope he always will be.
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Erica Banas is a classic rock / rock news blogger who knows the label well and is extraordinarily kind.